If you like Tesla as a brand or not, it is undeniable that it is the Silicon Valley of the brand, which in fact accelerated the continuation of the global transition from conventional fuel to electric powertrains. Elon Musk’s EV brand has also been at the forefront of the self-driving car technology. Now Ford, who upped the ante in the electric SUV category with the launch of the Mustang Mach-E to take the fight to the Tesla Model Y, has announced its own hands-free driver assistance system to rival Tesla auto-pilot.
The Ford Co-Pilot360, now with the Active driving assistance, apparently allows hands-free driving on more than 100 000 kilometers of divided highways in all 50 states of the united states and Canada. Ford says the provision of Active driving aid and is complemented by an advanced driver-facing camera, which allows to track the head position and the driver’s eye gaze, even with “most” of sunglasses.
The all-electric Mustang-Mach-E will be the first model to leave the customers to the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package which includes the camera and radar hardware. It also offers the flexibility to purchase Assets driving assistance as an over-the-air software update next year.
Ford engineers and test pilots have accumulated more than 650 000 kilometres of test technology such as Adaptive cruise control and blind spot Information System with cross-Traffic Alert to ensure that these radar-and camera-based features work in most real-world scenarios.
“The stress of the long road drives remains a huge problem for drivers around the world,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s head of product development and the purchasing officer. “With the introduction of driver-assist technologies such as Active driving aid, the Ford version of hands-free driving, we are enabling our customers feel more confident when they are behind the wheel.”
Although he says that the Hands-Free Mode allows drivers on some sections of pre-mapped, divided highways to drive with their hands on the steering wheel, Ford reminds drivers that they must “continue to pay attention to the road” while the technology is engaged. An advanced infrared driver-facing camera will track eye gaze and head position to ensure that drivers are paying attention to the road, while in Hands-Free Mode as well as hands-on to the Track Centering Mode, which works on any road with lane lines. Drivers will be alerted by visual cues on their instrument cluster when they need to return his attention to the road or regain control of the vehicle.
“The introduction of the Active driving assistance to a driver-facing camera is perfectly logical, since the vehicle, helps to relieve the stress and burden of driving, but still leaves you fully in control,” said Thai-Tang. “And if you lose focus on the road, Active driving assistance will automatically alert you and potentially slow down the vehicle until you are ready to put in place.”
Active Drive Assist will begin rolling out on select 2021 model year Ford vehicles and will be available for all Mustang Mach-E of the range.